COLUMBUS – The Cincinnati Country Day girls soccer team has put up impressive offensive statistics this season.
It is the team’s defense, however, that will bring another state championship to Indian Hill after the Nighthawks shut out another opponent in the postseason.
CCD beat Ottawa-Glandorf 1-0 in the Division III state championship game of the Ohio High School Athletic Association girls soccer tournament Friday night at Historic Crew Stadium.
CCD won a 1-0 decision over the Titans from northwest Ohio for the second-straight season, as O-G finished 22-2.
In the process, CCD won all seven postseason games by shutout for the second consecutive season, totalling 14 straight clean sheets.
“We’ve gone through the last two tournaments and not given up a goal,” said head coach Theresa Hirschauer. “We believe championships are won on defense.”
Sophomore Alyssa Easter, in her first year in goal replacing four-year starter C.J. DeBra, posted her 15th shutout.
“We work as a unit,” said senior defender Sydney Hardesty. “It’s not just one person. We all work for it. Alyssa is always saving the ball, always catching the ball.”
CCD allowed 17 goals for the season, five in one loss to Waynesville, and finished 21-2. The Nighthawks won their fourth state title in the last six seasons and Hirschauer won her 462nd game.
“It’s the best thing you could hope for,” said CCD senior Piper Farris. “You want to go to state, that’s your end goal. And winning state, being back to back, it’s the best feeling you could get. I’m so proud of our team.”
In the process, Ottawa-Glandorf was shut out for the only time this season.
“Country Day is an incredible program,” said Titans head coach Michelle Maag. “You don’t win four of the last six state titles by accident. They deserve a ton of credit. Their coach is somebody who does things the right way. If you’re going to go down you want to go down to somebody who is that good.”
Zimmermans for the win
Last year, CCD senior Elizabeth Zimmerman scored the only goal in the state final with 10 minutes to play.
This time, she fired a corner kick to her sister, Megan, who headed it in from about six yards away with 21 minutes left in the first half.
Piper Farris normally takes corner kicks but was on the bench at that moment.
“When she’s out I normally take them,” Elizabeth said. “I just hit it as hard as I could. I just found Megan. It’s pretty awesome.”
Megan scored her 25th goal of the season to go with 17 assists, and Elizabeth notched her 32nd assist to go with 32 goals, both team highs.
Farris had 24 goals and 24 assists. Senior Kendall Weber posted 11 goals and eight assists.
“We wanted to be aggressive,” Hirschauer said. “We wanted to push forward. We did a good job of setting the tone in the first half. We’ve always been really good on set pieces, whether it’s Piper hitting Megan or Elizabeth hitting Megan or Megan hitting Elizabeth.”
Goals were at a premium against the Titans this year, who allowed only two total goals in their previous wins in addition to four goals in their only previous loss.
“We had to make sure we knew where (the Zimmermans) were at all times,” said Ottawa-Glandorf senior Bri Douglass. “They were a big part of that offense so we really needed to focus on them.”
A big day for Country Day
CCD joined Summit Country Day as state champions from the Miami Valley Conference Friday.
CCD lost 1-0 to Summit early in the season.
“We’re rivals, so every game has been competitive,” Eilzabeth Zimmerman said. “I think just playing against each other makes us better. I think it’s awesome that both teams in the same conference won state.”
The Nighthawks have 13 seniors: Kendall Weber, Megan Zimmerman, Sam Easter, Emma Kate Schnieber, Fleur Helmantel, Sydney Hardesty, Elizabeth Zimmerman, Valentina Benitez, Anna Strauss, Melissa Teke, Isabel Ramirez and Piper Farris.
Adding to the offense, Ramirez had three goals this year, Benitez two and Teke one. Schneiber played two games in goal.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: CCD repeats as Division III girls soccer champion with 1-0 win